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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 20, 2010 5:00pm-6:59pm EDT

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how he was paying off his student loans and how mrs. obama shops at target and they are so much like we are and going to martha's vineyard is the end of that story. >> and patricia murphy, when people e-mail or tweet me don't forget what she said. no one begrudges the president a vacation. it's just the optics of it. it's just where he chooses to vacation. thank you and have a great weekend. i'm don lemon. thanks for joining us. you have a great weekend too. time now for wolf blitzer and "the situation room." >> thank you. happening now scientists are raising red flags about the amount of oil still tainting the gulf of mexico. have federal officials gotten their numbers wrong? i'll ask the incident commander thad allen. he is here in "the situation room." we'll talk about the discrepancies. the obama administration opens the door to new direct face-to-face talks between the israelis and palestinians. now the scramble is on to try to reach a peace agreement before iran goes nuclear. and skulls and bones discovered in a place time forgot. were they victims of disease or
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a mass murderer? investigators are trying to solve this 178-year-old mystery. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room. new questions are being raised about the lingering effects of the worst oil spill in u.s. history and whether federal officials are being a little too quick to declare that the disaster is mostly over. cnn's kate bolduan has been looking into conflicting figures for us and has more on what's going on. what is going on, kate? >> okay. well, wolf, the well is capped. we know that. and we are told it will soon be killed officially. but big questions do still remain about how much oil is out there and what the short and long-term impact really is. turns out there's no easy answer so far. >> reporter: so where has all the oil gone? well, it seems that depends on who's talking. according to the government, about 3/4 of the oil is
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effectively gone. >> what is left is 26% of the 4.9 million barrels. now is that completely accurate? no, it is the -- it's based on the estimates as defined in the oil budget as a purpose to establish a baseline to try and get a better estimate moving forward. >> reporter: but some scientists have reached far different conclusions. is the obama administration painting too rosie a picture? researchers from the university of georgia released a report estimating up to 79% of the oil, quote, has not been recovered and remains a threat to the ecosystem. then there is the team from the university of south florida who concluded dispersants have pushed oil to the ocean floor, reaching further east than previously suspected. >> this is where we found the sedimentary oil. >> just thursday scientists at this oceanographic institution said back in june they detected
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a plume at least 22 miles long more than 3,000 feet below the surface. what is the most important aspect of this? >> i was surprised to see not only the extent of it, the width of it, the thickness of it. >> the government's point man for the oil disaster, retired admiral thad allen, defends the government's findings but acknowledged its data may not be the only accurate estimate out there. >> if you create a different set of assumptions that gives you a different body of oil that was released the denominator changes and the results are different but it's all important. >> congressman markey a leading critic says the government hasn't offered proof to back up its claims or let outside experts in to check the science. >> here is the thing, doctor. you shouldn't have released it until you knew it was right because so much is going to depend upon that release. if you are not confident that it is right then it should not have been released. >> in search of some final
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answers admiral allen said today he wants to put together a mehta forkal mri of sorts of the gulf unifying the monitoring efforts down there by pulling together data gathered by the various institutions, the academics, the government, even the private institutions. then he hopes they can get a fuller picture, a real picture of just how much oil is still out there and where it really is, wolf. >> good report, kate bolduan, working the story for us. thank you. later here in "the situation room" i'll press the incident commander admiral thad allen about the amount of oil still in the gulf and whether the feds may have gotten their figures wrong. stand by for that. now to the obama administration's ambitious new goal to reach a middle east peace agreement within one year. secretary of state hillary clinton announcing today that the israelis and the palestinians have been invited to hold direct face-to-face talks for the first time since 2008. so far, neither side has formally accepted the invitation to meet face to face here in washington beginning september
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2nd. secretary clinton says she believes the final obstacles to a peace agreement can be resolved by the fall of 2011. >> as we move forward, it is important that actions by all sides help to advance our effort not hinder it. there have been difficulties in the past. there will be difficulties ahead. without a doubt, we will hit more obstacles. the enemies of peace will keep trying to defeat us and to derail these talks. >> secretary clinton was joined by the president's special envoy for the middle east former senator george mitchell a veteran of negotiating peace deals. >> we do not take the position that if you don't get everything you want the first time you ask for it you pack up your bags and go home. if that had been the standard applied, in south africa there would never have been peace
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there. in northern ireland there would never have been peace there. in bosnia there would never have been peace there. it takes patience, persistance, willingness to go back again and again to not take the first no as a final no, to not take the 50th no as the final no, or the 100th no. >> later we're going to have reaction from the israelis and the palestinians. we'll talk about the pressure to reach a peace agreement within one year. as iran threatens the region with its pursuit of nuclear weapons. much more on this important story coming up later. in afghanistan meanwhile president hamid karzai is making a concession to the united states and it's concerns that corruption is undermining support for the war. mr. karzai is pledging for the first time to allow two key government anticorruption units to operate without political interference. the announcement came after mr. karz karzai met with senator john kerry and other senior u.s.
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officials in kabul. in an exclusive interview senator kerry spoke to our jill dougherty about why the new commitment by president karzai is significant. >> reporter: this is being described in washington as one of the biggest rifts between the government of afghanistan and the u.s. government. do you agree? >> well, i think it's a concern for all of us. i mean, none of us, i'm an american taxpayer and as an american senator i am concerned that we're not engaged in supporting something that, you know, breaks everybody's sense of right and wrong. that would be inappropriate. that's unfair to our troops. so it is important. but i think working closely together in a constructive way we can move forward in a way that's transparent, accountable, and holds people who break the law accountable. president karzai has said that he wants to do that but he wants
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to do it obviously respecting the afghan constitution and their sovereign rights. now, that's legitimate and understandable. and we need to work with him in a way that guarantees that afghans don't think americans are calling all the shots and that americans are running the show and that they're somehow sort of a parallel government here that is american. that doesn't work. it doesn't work for us. it doesn't work for them. i don't think there's that big a divergence here. i believe we can get on the same page and i think we can work constructively together. but in the end, the test will be what the government of afghanistan does itself to assume those responsibilities. >> reporter: you just came back from the floods. it's a humanitarian crisis of course but a political crisis, too, potentially right? >> sure. >> reporter: how serious is this? how much of a threat is it to the pakistan government?
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>> well, the pakistan government needs help from a lot of countries and i'm proud that president obama and secretary clinton have announced major commitments by the united states to help lead the recovery and relief efforts. the site of this water is just devastating. you know, hundreds of thousands of homes destroyed. over a million people displaced from those homes. 7 million people directly affected. maybe 14 million totally affected by this. i saw power plants that are shut down under water, refineries under water, buses and trains stranded in mid track because they had broken behind them. this is going to be an enormous recovery effort. pakistan was already fragile. and pakistan has already been deeply committed to fighting against radical religious
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extremism and violence. we want that democracy that it is to be able to continue in that effort. so i think it is very important for us to help the government. i was impressed by the relief efforts that the pakistan army was engaged in. they have a strong organization. but they're not rich and they don't have a lot of resources. and it's going to take a global effort to help to sustain their commitment both to their democracy and to this effort to fight insurgencys. >> the new u.n. figures put the number of homeless in pakistan right now as high as 4 million and the death toll nearing 1500. we'll have more on this disaster unfolding in pakistan coming up later. just want to issue this clarification. the israeli prime minister says he welcomes these invitations for direct face-to-face talks with the palestinians, saying the israelis accept direct talks without preconditions.
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we're still awaiting official reaction from the palestinian authority. so far the chief palestinian negotiator said the plo's executive committee will meet on this matter but we assume they have agreed in effect to go forward. the negotiations will resume september 2nd here in washington direct face-to-face talks between the israelis and the palestinians. the secretary of state hillary clinton will convene. the day before there will be a much more dramatic meeting over at the white house when president obama welcomes the israelis and the palestinians as well as the leaders of egypt and jordan. more on this story coming up in "the situation room." a dramatic rescue from a burning ship at sea. stand by to find out how it all ends. an escape from an arizona prison and the alleged accomplice are captured. they are due in court this hour. you'll want to hear joe biden's prediction and what james carville and ed rollins
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have to say about it.
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we have new evidence one of president obama's arguments for health care reform may be falling flat. he promised democrats it would be a winning issue for them this fall. our new poll suggests otherwise. let's bring in our national political correspondent jessica yellin to share with us the numbers. what are we learning? >> reporter: wolf, the latest cnn polling shows 56% of americans oppose the health care bill that passed. now, politically that's good
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news for republicans who see that health care in their view could be a winning issue for the mid terms. in fact, right now there are more than 20 ads running in markets around the country attacking democratic candidates for health care reform and just tying the democratic party to this bill. take a look at some of them. >> this health care legislation is a disgrace. >> they've denied you because you've passed ch limit for the treatment. >> mccollum, making florida the first to fight obama care and its trillion dollar price tag. >> and our personal health choices. i'm jim bender running for united states senate. >> reporter: so, wolf, there has been more than $24 million spent by conservatives attacking health care since the plan passed but there is one bit of good news in our polling today for democrats. while a majority of americans oppose health care reform 13% of those who dislike the bill are liberals who think it didn't go far enough. now, clearly, they're not going to be swayed by republican ads
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like this one so the jury is out on whether this issue is the decisive wedge issue of the fall. >> let's talk about another potentially critical issue, tax cuts, hugely important. the president wants to keep the bush tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 a year and for families making than $250,000 a year. what do the american people think about all of that? >> reporter: our numbers have a glimmer of hope for president obama on taxes. cnn polling shows 51% of americans agree with the president that tax cuts should be extended for families making less than $250,000 a year but not for those making 250 or more. now, as you know, usually any tax increase is the third rail in politics but people are very worried about the deficit so republicans might not be able to use this issue against the president. let's look a little more closely and you'll see though that the heft of the support for the president's position on taxes is from democrats.
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67% support his position there. slightly less a majority of independents agree. so independents are still a toss up here. it'll still be a major issue in the election but it's better news for the president than you might have expected at this point, wolf. >> thanks very much, jessica, for that. let's get some more now on what's going on in politics in southern virginia, specifically, closed businesses and economic pain are weighing heavily on house democrats fight for re-elections and the race mirrors problems for the president's party all across the nation. let's go to our congressional correspondent. >> reporter: wolf, tom per yellow's rural district is larger than new jersey and has been hurting for years. long before the recession a number of factories closed, jobs went overseas. the region's tobacco industry tanked. now unemployment is higher than 20% in some areas.
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at southside you come for the pork and stay for the politics. >> everybody comes here, democrats, republicans. only plals you can get along together. the jobs are the big issue. >> i don't know that it's so much jobs as all the money we're spending to get the jobs. there are no results coming from th that. >> it seems like everything is going overseas and is not american anymore. >> reporter: this is why democrat tom perielo is fighting for his political life in virginia's fifth district. >> it will certainly be a chance to hear from you and for me to respond to your questions. >> reporter: in 2008 he edged out the republican incumbent by just 727 votes. since then he voted for the stimulus, the energy bill, and health care all big priorities for democrats. now he is defending those positions and trying to persuade
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skeptical voters to give him a second term. you're asking for more time here. >> we need a little more time because the other side has done a really good job of stopping some of the best parts of what we need to do to rebuild this economy. >> reporter: he is in the same situation as dozens of other democrats. they're in hotly contested races in districts like this one, won by john mccain in 2008. >> you can't get social security on the unemployment. >> reporter: sleeves rolled up, he presents himself to voters as working hard to find them work. >> where are you retired from? >> reporter: republican state senator robert hurt is his opponent. i want to see you what think of tom perielo's ad. >> times have been tough for virginia families. i fought have new jobs at dairy farms and landfill projects that turned methane waste into clean energy. jobs bringing broadband internet to 120 public schools. >> i think if you look at the facts you'll find that all of the statistics that he cites are related to one bill. and that's the stimulus package. i think when you look at the number of jobs that have
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actually been created, it doesn't -- that doesn't hold up. >> reporter: hurt's message is similar to maine republicans taking on vulnerable democrats. he says perriello is in lock step with democratic leaders who spend too much government money without results. what do you think? people are sick of this stuff. they want to know where someone stands. we've shown an agenda on jobs, for reducing costs to middle class families. >> reporter: that's what voters are talking about here at short sugar's. >> we're all in the double digits of unemployment. we are in an especially hard hit area here so we pay real attention to it. >> reporter: they will decide if tom perriello and democrats will keep their jobs. we were in the red center of his district. as you head north for the border with north carolina you find he's more popular in charlottesville where the economy is stronger and there is a large student population. the question is will those
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voters balance the frustration of voters in more conservative areas come november, wolf? >> thanks very much. it's now one of the largest egg recalls in recent history. we'll have the latest on a massive salmonella outbreak expected to get even worse. and u.s. sailors come to the aid of these iranians after a fiery accident at sea. accident at sea. their dramatic story coming up. have to settle for a minivan.
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kate is monitoring some of the other top stories in the situation room right now. what else is going on, kate? >> wolf, sailors from the u.s.s. harry truman aircraft carrier have rescued eight iranians from a burning vessel in the a-ian s sea. an attack jet spotted the vessel 50 miles from the carrier. doctors say there were no significant injuries. the men will remain aboard ship until arrangements can be made for their safe return home. in israel, israeli defense minister ehud barak is calling a flotilla from lebanon a provocative act. the aid flotilla comes a few months after a deadly israeli aid on a turkish aid ship headed to the same place. israel has blockaded the palestinian territory to prevent weapons smuggling there. critics say that's causing a humanitarian crisis. and state agencies in california are closed today due to a mandatory furlough now in effect for government employees. the move, which has triggered protests, is part of the state's
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effort to resolve a $19 billion budget deficit. governor arnold schwarzenegger has ordered workers to take three unpaid days off a month until a new budget is in place and it just keeps getting bigger. another company is joining what's now considered to be one of the largest shelled eggs recalls in recent history. hundreds of americans have been sickened in a widening salmonella outbreak and the centers for disease control and prevention now expects the number to climb. an estimated 380 million eggs have already been recalled. wolf? >> i haven't stopped eating eggs. >> no. you just need to be careful. no runny yolks, wolf. >> no raw eggs. thank you. the last escapee from an arizona prison finally has been caught and is due in court. we'll have the latest on the case and the last dramatic moments of the man hunt. he was supposed to be dead by now. the lockerbie bomber a year after his release and a new back
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a desperate man hunt for two arizona fugitives is finally over. the search for the missing couple stretched to canada but ended surprise lig eed surprisi
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home. jeanne meserve has been monitoring the latest developments in this case. it was pretty dramatic. >> it was. they made their first court appearance this afternoon, john mccluskey and casslyn mae welch. they were in man kls under heavy guard. bail for each was set at $1 million. they were arrested last night after three weeks on the run, taken into custody, at an arizona campground on the edge of the apache national forest after an alert forest service employee became suspicious of an unintended fire and jotted down the license plate number of a car backed into the woods as if someone was hiding it. the plate had been reported stolen in new mexico earlier this month not too far from a burned out camper containing two bodies. authorities have linked mccluskey and welch with those murders. last night a swat team swiftly was assembled and moved in on the pair. >> basically he didn't run. when i pulled up to him i got out and i was face to face from me to you and he wouldn't
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comply, wouldn't comply. so i grabbed him, put him down and then we move up to the female suspect. my arrest team comes in, cuffs him up. she goes for a gun. last minute she puts it down and then we take her into custody. >> she's lucky she didn't get shot at that point. >> luckier than she knows. >> reporter: authorities allege on july 30th welch threw cutting tools over the fence of an arizona prison allowing mccluskey and two other inmates to break out. tracy province and daniel renwick had already been re-arrested but mccluskey and welch were on the lam and the subjects of a man hunt from arizona to the canadian border. authorities say the two have links to a white supremacist group and that welch had one point agreed to be a police informant. an agreement, wolf, she obviously did not keep. >> at least they got them. that's good. >> exactly. >> thanks very much. the convicted lockerbie bomber was freed exactly one year ago today and the british government is urging libya not to celebrate megrahi's release
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by scotland is as controversial as ever though amid possible questions about a possible link to the oil giant bp. >> reporter: one year after this celebration the release of the lockerbie bomber is still a source of pain. stephanie bernstein's husband michael was among those killed when pan am 103 fell from the sky. she believes politics and oil were behind the decision to free al megrahi. >> i can see that everything that we predicted that family members were concerned about has come true and it's not surprising but it's deeply upsetting and sickening. >> reporter: anger too from u.s. senators demanding to know more about megrahi's release. >> so on this unfortunate anniversary, on this unwelcomed milestone, we want it to be known that our desire for answers is as strong as ever. >> reporter: the senators have
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written to the british and scottish governments again asking whether trade with libya was an issue when scottish justice minister kenny mccaskill freed the man convicted of murdering 270 people. the leader of the scottish government again insisted it was not. >> all we've got, kenny mccaskill or myself or any other member of the scottish government is we made a decision in good faith and followed scotts law. that is exactly what we did and why we stand by it. >> reporter: american senators also want more access to the medical advice which triggered megrahi's release. that report predicting three months was a reasonable estimate of his life expectancy was written by the head doctor of the scottish prison service andrew frasier. in the report he listed four specialists who treated megrahi. two of those consultants have publicly now said they weren't involved in reaching the three-month prognosis. professor roger kirby is a
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prostate cancer expert who says it was foolish to even try to estimate how long megrahi would live. >> at the time of his release i was very surprised that they had released him on the premise that he would die within three months because i've looked after very many patients with advanced prostate cancer and i know there is tremendous variability in their life expectancy even when they're quite severely affected by the disease. >> reporter: the scottish prison service medical report doesn't mention if chemotherapy had been used to try slowing the disease. professor kirby believes that is probably what kept megrahi alive for the past year. >> we could be talking many more months and maybe even years longer before he dies and the longer he lives the more embarrassing it gets. >> reporter: one year on the scottish government says it is not embarrassed and feels no regret. phil black, cnn, london.
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if vice president biden were a betting man would he lose his shirt on the mid term elections? james carville and ed rollins are standing by to add their two cents in our "strategy session." and lessons from the trenches. where the u.s. mission in iraq goes from here now that the last combat troops are leaving. and some surprising comments from the reverend franklin graham. they may help explain why many americans think president obama is a muslim. ♪ [ female announcer ] yoplait's real fruit and the goodness of dairy gives you a little slice of happy.
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reporters and well wishers camped outside a book store on martha's vineyard hoping to get a glimpse of president obama. the first family went on vacation there after the president put in some time on the campaign trail. our white house correspondents and producers give us the back story on the president's four state political road trip. >> i was here 12 hours ago because we just came back from florida with the president and i arrived at 6:00 p.m. it is now just after 6:00 a.m. almost 7:00. so we are taking off for wisconsin. just a couple quick notes about the gaggle on airforce one. >> it kicked up a firestorm. >> it is wonderful to be at zbb energy. >> the president has now boarded airforce one and is flying to los angeles for yet another fundraiser on this big swing
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across the united states. we are here hours after the president was because we still have to file our stories. you know, the problem is -- we're in los angeles. it's now 1:00 a.m. eastern time and we're finally going to get to go to bed. we're not going to go out to dinner. we're going right to bed. >> beautiful blue sky. >> sunrise over l.a. >> see the sky? beautiful in seattle. >> they decided to put the protest right behind the live shot. >> beautiful downtown seattle, washington. if you're lucky we may be able to take a walk for a block or two, take in the sights, hop on a bus and get out of here. >> good morning. we're in columbus, ohio. i can't tell you how many times i have been in columbus, ohio or at least ohio. hundreds and hundreds of times during the campaign. but now when you travel with the president, you don't really get to see as much. you don't really get to talk to folks. you just basically get on the
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bus. so this is a pretty rare shoot because the president the white house has decided they are actually going to hold the event in a couple's home in columbus, ohio. i want to show you. this is our work space and how we're going to cover all of this. one tent here set up and we are actually in their garage. >> the answer is, no regrets. >> reporter: now our story is a different story. it's on the mosque. i have to take this call. i could see if they wanted to change this where i could do -- this is my intro. we have five minutes before we have to board the bus. >> well, the script is done. the story has been told. it's going to make the air just in time for us to go home. see you on the other end. heading back to washington. >> our white house correspondents, always busy, a little behind the scenes with them. an illegal drug trade believed to span across the u.s. and beyond. our drew griffin digs deeper on
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internet pharmacies accused of selling drugs without legitimate prescriptions. plus new fears about what could have happened to most of the oil that leaked into the gulf of mexico. new orleans resident and cnn contributor james carville will weigh in on that.
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vice president joe biden is all fired up. speaking over the democratic national committee's summer meetings he predicted great things for his party this fall and he came out swinging against republicans. >> on november 3rd the day after this coming election there will be in washington, d.c. a
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democratic majority in the house and a democratic majority in the senate. and we're not illegal. i'd make book on it. this is the republican tea party. and as they focus on the alternative as i refer to it the republican tea party, what they're going to find out is the choices are pretty stark. >> we just heard from the vice president and our strategy session joining us now two cnn political contributors, the democratic strategist james carville and the republican strategist ed rollins. james, are you as confident as the vice president is that the democrats will wake up november 3rd, the majority in the house and senate? >> no. but i'm glad that he is confident. i think the vice president really is. i'm a big fan of his and i think he thinks if we engage this thing that we can retain the house and senate and then we may do it and i hope that he's right. if he made book, i wouldn't bet
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against him. but, you know, it's going to be a tough cycle but they, you know, he's a good cheerleader and that's what he's suppose today do and he's doing it and i commend him for doing it. >> are you ready to do a little wage wer the vice president. >> i'm more than happy. i'll buy him and james a dinner at the palm. he is going to lose his own seat, delaware, and in his second home state pennsylvania he's going to lose, too. and i think republicans are going to win the house. >> a lot of people james think the republicans will win the house but few people think they could actually win the senate. although technically it's obviously possible. >> yeah. you know, the one thing that historically the senate always follows the house. and every cycle we say that. we got a long way to campaign left and if the democrats can get some enthusiasm, if we can do that and we can draw these distinctions we might be able to do better than people think. you know, we're not even to labor day yet and let's wait and see but, you know, you sure
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wouldn't want our own vice president to be talking ining dnc and be pessimistic. >> no. he has to be a cheerleader. ed, the other point of his comments, the republican tea party, heard him talking about the republican tea party repeatedly. is that a winning strategy for democrats? >> well, it certainly isn't if those tea party voters, those independent voters go out and vote for the republican candidate, it's going to make for a losing coalition. my sense is that, you know, it certainly is a message, i agree with james he ought to be out doing all the cheerleading he can do but the bottom line is the real fight is ahead and i think we'll win. >> what do you think about that republican tea party line? >> we did a study and we released the results and the tea party is just part of the republican party. they're republicans. they're not independents or sort of organic, grass roots people. they overwhelmingly voted for john mccain. they're republicans. by being energized they might
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have a philosophy and they might have any number of things but they're not independent, not swing voters or any such thing. they are republicans. >> do you agree, ed? >> i don't think they're all republicans but i think there is a lot of -- the key thing is where did the independents go? they'll vote republican this time i think. at least the polls indicate that. dhe that in 2006 for democrats and 2008 for democrats and they make the difference. we basically are in the game of addition. we want tea party independents, even a few disaffected democrats to come support us this time. >> james, let me turn to the gulf of mexico, a subject close to your heart. >> right. >> you live in new orleans. the government says 26% of the 4.9 million barrels that spewed out into the gulf, that's still around but almost all of the rest is gone, dissipated, skimmed, sold, whatever. now some outside academics and scientists are saying that's wrong. those numbers are wrong. they say maybe 75% or 76% is still out there somewhere. what do you make of this debate? >> well, if you ask me do i believe those numbers the answer
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is no. is there a single person that lives in the gulf coast that believes these numbers? >> which numbers don't you believe? the numbers that 76% of this has just disappeared. i don't believe it for a second and no one else believes it and now the scientists are saying they never reviewed this. this is a four-page report. frankly, these are the same people that told us there was a thousand barrels of oil being out in the gulf when this whole thing started and these people need to go back to the drawing board here and they need to get people, you know, on the same page. i mean, it's impossible to say but the people, by the way, i called to go down there a week after this started, finding these gigantic plumes out in the gulf of mexico, i think some people are thinking maybe we're just going to go away and if they give us some kind of report that people are going to forget about this and we're not going away and not forgetting anything and it's going to take a lot of convincing to get people here to believe that 76% of the stuff is
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gone and we are a long way from doing that. >> the next hour i sfepeak to td allen and press him on these things but the report that james is referring to that there could be a plume of oil underneath the waters of the gulf of mexico, the size of manhattan right now, the government says they can't find it. >> i have no expertise down there, james obviously does. but i think the oil has to be there somewhere. and i think it's been devastating to that region and the government cannot walk away. they've got to keep bp's feet to the fire and they've got to do every single thing and i think thad allen has been a superb commandant of the coast guard and superb instigator of getting this thing done. >> yeah. >> well, look. admiral allen and i spent three hours yesterday with the coast guard and there's a lot of activity out there on the gulf and i'm happy to tell people in this area that there is but i don't believe for one minute that 76% of this stuff is gone and neither do many scientists. >> all right.
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>> we just need more science. look, i hope they're right. i hope it comes back and people validate this study but we're a long -- i am a long way from believing it right now. >> i hear you, james. thanks very much. ed, thanks to you as well. >> my pleasure. thank you. the obama administration is pushing forward with middle east peace talks that have been stalled for years. just ahead how the iran nuclear threat may be lighting a fire under all of the parties involved. it's like an episode of "csi" but the skeletons and the crime scene get this almost 200 years old. just one bite ope wod delight... ♪
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they are well known builter adversaries, but what if some level of peace could be brokered between north and south korea? emily change introduces us to one teenager set out to do just that. >> reporter: teenager turned international enjoy. >> i'm jonathan, founder of a humanitarian group i see help. >> reporter: he greeted throngs of global media after a mission to one of the most isolated missions in the world. >> actually i was really kind of scared at first. but once i got there, i was kind of relieved, because i felt in my experience very safe. >> reporter: as a korean american from mississippi, his idea was simple, but ambitious. to convince reclusive leader kim jong-il to plant a children's peace fornest the demilitarized
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zone that separates north and south korea, two nations technically still at war. >> i would really like if possible like maybe if the children from both countries could meet and play with each other, and like a big playground. >> reporter: and how did you feel when he came up with this idea? >> well, i was like, really? you want to go to north korea and when? and then, you know, he was so adamant and so strong about how he felt, it is like, okay. i was cool with it. i was fine. >> and i said no way. >> completely opposite. >> reporter: his father, originally from south korea was hesitant, but eventually agreed, and the family embarked on their journey. >> my idea for the mission statement of the children's peace corp is above politics, above borders, above ideology and above conflict. >> reporter: his humanitarian work started three years ago when he created a super hero to teach kids to protect the
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environment. he has met with president obama and other top leaders. he has filed more than 30 i-reports on cnn and waged a seven-day campaign to urge mcdonald's to recycle, but the trip to north korea would be the most challenging and eye-opening. >> i went to a schoolchildren's palace and i found out that the children there are very talented. they learn piano and they did it really impressively. the accordion and calligraphy, and embroidery. this is north korea -- >> reporter: he did not meet with kim jong-il, but he said he did meet with other government officials saying that a peace treaty would have to be signed before there could be a children's peace forest. >> i am disappointed, but i will keep trying and maybe if i keep trying, maybe, i don't know, eventually, hopefully. >> reporter: emily chang, cnn, beijing. the feds say that most of the oil in the gulf of mexico is gone, but some scientists are
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disputing. thatly ask the president's point man in the gulf thad allen to explain. and later, the golden treasure stolen in a brazen museum heist. ♪ ♪ yes! ♪ look, they fit! oh my gosh, are those the jeans from last year? how'd you do it? simple stuff... eating right...whole grain. whole grain? [ female announcer ] people who eat more whole grain tend to have healthier body weights. multigrain cheerios has five whole grains
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now that the last u.s. combat brigade has rolled of iraq, the pentagon is reassessing the mission and regrouping for the next mission. chris lawrence has more. chris? >> well, i will give you an example, wolf. i remember back in 2004 riding through ramadi and the al am bar
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province with the soldiers in an open air humvee, and no cover, no armor. that kind of vehicle wouldn't even get out of the gate of a base today. >> reporter: the military used to save money by shortchanging some soldiers. >> instead of being one total army, or the army of one, we have the army of one in at least with the two little brothers over here. >> reporter: for the guard and the reserve, iraq was the great equalizer. ambushes and roadside bombs forced officials to train reservists and active duty supply troops a lot like infantry. >> we have to contract and the ieds and fight their way out of tough situations changed a lot of the training in preparation for the deployment. >> reporter: and retired general james dubik admits that the military put more money into some soldiers over others when the war started. >> we decided to spend most of
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for it the combat forces forward and save a little bit by not outfitting the low jis shuns as much, but those days are past. >> reporter: female troops were captured in iraq and 700 women were wounded and well over 100 killed. unit commanders started to get around the rules by attaching them to combat units instead of assigning. >> one of the biggest combat lessons was this, everybody's a fighter. >> reporter: now some more foot patrols in afghanistan to talk to the population of women. this is a picture i took back in 2003 of an american in baghdad. the troops of 2010 would not recognize his gear. >> the body armor changed and the helmets changed and almost everything from the soldier-up has changed in this war. >> reporter: change didn't come fast enough in one respect, ieds killed hundreds of soldiers and marines before they and their families demanded better.
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>> why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromise ballistic blast-up on the vehicles. >> reporter: there are varying patterns to avoid ieds and use sniffing dogs. it is not the exercise it was ten years ago. no matter if you are talking about the troops doing the fighting or their bosses back here at the pentagon, combat in iraq literally changed the face of the military from top to bottom. wolf. and you are in "the situation room." happening now, one of america's best known evangelical leaders throws fuel on a simmering controversy. the reverend franklin graham says that president obama was born a muslim and now the white house is responding to that. and huge discrepancies on how much oil is still in the gulf of mexico, and why the government figures different from
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researchers. i will ask the retired commander and incident commander thad allen. and dozens of immigrants into the united states, were these graves victims of a mass murder? we want to welcome the viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, and you are i'm wolf blitzer, and you are here in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- we begin with what is going on with iz raleigh and palestinian peace talks. in less than two weeks, benjamin netanyahu and the palestinian president mahmoud abbas are scheduled to sit down at peace talks for the first time in two years. only moments ago they announced that the palestinianears president of the united states and the secretary of state and the israelis accepted the invitation earlier in the day, but getting the two sides to agree to such face-to-face negotiations has been a major
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undertaking and with an aggressive timeline and ambitious goal now in place. the secretary of state hillary clinton is talking candidly about the difficult task ahead. our white house correspondent dan lothian is joining us now with the president on martha's vineyard in massachusetts. this has been a difficult ordeal for the obama administration and getting to this very point. >> it really has been a difficult ordeal, and a lot of negotiations going on behind scenes. those direct talks to take place in washington on september 2nd, and the day before that president obama expected to hold bilateral meetings with these leaders and hold a dinner at the white house. they see it as a step in the right direction after 20 long months and while change seems inevitable, the white house aides seem optimistic. >> reporter: the obama administration is trying to seize a opportunity of jump starting a stalled peace talks. >> these negotiations should
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take place without preconditions and be characterized by good faith and a commitment to their success. >> reporter: skeptics may see this as another drive down a dead end road, but special mideast envoy george mitchell veteran of talks in northern ireland says that success depends on patience. >> the success in northern ireland we had 700 days of failure and one day of success. >> reporter: the obama administration has been prodding both sides for months. the president held separate oval office talks with president benjamin netanyahu and president abb abbas. how to carve out peace for both countries is fragile, and looming over the diplomatic effort is iran's nuclear threat. "the new york times" says that the obama administration has persuaded the israelis that trouble with the nuclear program means it would take them at least a year if not more to develop a weapon. at a briefing on martha's
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vineya vineyard, john brennan who advices the president on national security issues was asked about the report. >> we are clearly concerned about iran's continued activity in this area, but again, i will leave the assessments off of the table at this point. >> reporter: on the peace process, brennan and other administration officials say that there is a strong commitment by all parties to an enduring deal in the region, but secretary clinton warned, hurdles remain. >> there have been difficulties in the past. there will be difficulties ahead. without a doubt, we will hit more obstacles. >> reporter: now president mubarak of egypt and king abdullah of jordan have been invited to hold bilateral meetings with president obama and at tend that dinner and these are two leaders that the administration say have played a critical role in pushing for peace process. >> and well, they have peace treaties with israel in place for many years. dan lothian, thank you very much.
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over to jerusalem to where paula hancock is working the story for us. you have spoken to the israelis and the palestinians and do they really believe, paula, that something will come out of this a year from now? >> well, wolf, certainly people think that we are slightly better off today than yesterday when it comes to the peace talks, but you know that for 17 years israelis and palestinians have had direct talks on and off and most recently off. there is a huge amount of cynicism here, and on both sides people have had hopes and bitter disappointment, so it more than the talks being announced. they will want to see things change on the ground before they believe that this could actually be the change that is needed. the fact that it is just a year deadline could instill some hope in some people, because it means that there will not be continue talks to come as there have been in the past, wolf. >> and they are both going to really need to trust the president of the united states, the palestinians and the israelis and the president is
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going to have to get involved if there is going to be a deal. i assume that is what analysts in jerusalem are telling you as well? >> absolutely. and the president does have credibility on some sides, both sides and not as much as he did when he first came into power because the palestinians adored him when he first came into power, but that has whittled away, because not much has happened in the last year or so, but that could be coming back now. the israelis are weary of him and certainly the right wing government has not necessarily seen eye to eye with the obama administration over the past year or, so and we have seen some rocky times for the two, but he does have to get involved and you need the credibility of the u.s. administration, and for the palestinians they believe that the u.s. is the one who can convince israel to make those painful compromises. wolf? >> paula hancocks working the story in jerusalem, and thank you very much. let's bring in cnn's john king who is the host of "john king usa" which begins at the top of
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the hour following the "situation room." i thought it was significant that they decided to bring the leaders of egypt and jordan to to get together as well in an effect to give the palestinian president mahmoud abbas some cover. >> and to give it grandness and wealth from the beginning. you remember this from the clinton administration and the last time it was serious when they thought they had the camp david accords yasser arafat was still the leader of the palestinians, and yet the clinton administration had not involved egypt and jordan in the region in an intimate detailed way and when mr. clinton called for help in the end, mr. mubarak said we don't know anything about this, and i don't know if i can help and that contributed to the collapse of this deal, so trying to get them involved in the beginning is smart politics, but you know, the questions is netanyahu is a weakened leader or abbas or obama a weakened
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leader? >> and the last time president clinton at the end of the administration, when he failed to get arafat and barack to make that agreement, he appealed to the saudis for help, and the saudis said, why didn't you talk to us earlier, i think it would have been significant if the saudis were involved to this get together on september 1st or 2nd and king abdullah, and they don't have relations with the israelis, but that would have been a huge development. >> and the big question is if the president can expand the issue, and this issue that is so heir ap parable is the circle is grow, and can the president bring in the saudis or other members of the arab community at one point, because if you look at the power structure in the region, what has the conversation been in the last few years? it has been about the war in iraq and the asinden si of iran and the less power for the less traditional and whether it is the diplomatic and the political power and the egyptians and the
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saudi arabia and i jiegypt as w. these issues have not changed and if anything, harder. >> hillary clinton put a year window on this, and they believe it is a year before the iranians go nuclear so maybe a link there. there is a fascinating interview that you had last night with reverend franklin graham and you had this exchange with him and i want to play it for the viewersch >> do you, sir, have any doubts about this president's christian faith? >> well, first of all, i think that the president's problem is that he was born a muslim and his father was a muslim and the seed of the muslim is passed through the seed of the father like the seed of ju dayism is passed through the mother. and the father gave him a muslim name. it is that he has renounced muslim and accepted jesus christ. that is what he says he has done and i cannot say he hasn't so i
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have to believe the president for what he has said. >> and it was a fascinating conversation. i expected when i asked him do you have any doubt about the president's christianity that the answer would be no. there is a great difference of the public demeanor and the public conduct of billy graham and franklin graham and the white house response was muted, but behind the enskras they were not happy, and billy graham's legacy will be of a peacemaker, but franklin wants to play partisan politics. >> good interview last night. jack cafferty is off today, and among the stories we are working on in "the situation room," backlash of the proposed islamic center near ground zero, and they are angering 9/11 families who say they don't speak for them. and also, the underwater oil plume in the gulf of mexico the size of manhattan? i will talk about that with the incident commander thad allen. and also, a pharmacy
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and get the best price guaranteed. and if you add a hotel or car, you save even more. >> shut it down, people! >> a family that saves together, stays together. a proposed islamic mosque near ground zero in new york have been the most vocal in the heated debate, but some supporters of the plan are
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making themselves heard and including some 9/11 families. our correspondent allan chernoff is looking into the story and spoke to system of the families. what is going on here? >> well, some of the families who lost family members are opposed to the islamic center and some are in favor of it and they are outraged that politicians are claiming to speak on their behalf. >> reporter: robert nelson lost his brother on 9/11 and he has a message for politicians who are planning to fight the planned islamic center two blocks from ground zero. >> those politicians playing political football with the 9/11 families, they don't speak for me. i think that this mosque is a good idea. >> reporter: but politicians opposing the islam center, the republicans and democrats, claim they are speaking out for the victims' families. >> those innocent victims of families of those who were killed in the 9/11 tragedy -- >> i'm very sensitive to the feelings of the victims'
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families, and friends and they seem to be opposed to the location of this mosque. >> reporter: a majority of the americans are opposed with the recent polls indicating 2/3 of voters don't want the center built near ground zero, and many 9/11 families do find the islamic project hurtful, and feelings that are encouraging politicians to voice their opposition. >> the mosque should be built someplace else. >> what you are doing is offensive to most of the families who lost people in 9/11. >> reporter: but such talk makes robert nelson furious, because he is part of a 9/11 vic1 victi groups who claims 250 members and says politicians have no right to speak for them in opposing the islamic center. >> it is opposed to american values. and that is not what my brother died for, so that the politicians could go around preaching intolerance and bigotry. >> reporter: the fact is that the first amendment protects the
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right to build a islamic center and mosque right here, and it is the first 16 words of the bill of rights, congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. those words adorn the desk of first amendment attorney floyd abrams who charges that politicians are acting in a reprehensible fashion by fighting an islamic developer's constitutional right. >> the politicians are behaving in a manner that is not only unconstitutional if they had their way, but un-american. it is not just outrageous, ridiculous, but it's terribly dangerous. >> reporter: that point, the recent sienna college poll of new york voters found that 64% think that the developers have the constitutional right to build the site. more than 1/4, 28%, believe that the develop evers do not have a
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constitutional right to build near ground zero, and some politicians are trying to capitalize on that. wolf. >> we all know, allen, when the constitutional rights are threatened, it can have a bigger effect. >> absolutely, wolf. you know, all of us benefit from this. this is what the country was built upon, and these people who are challenging the first amendment, they really are challenging their own rights. >> allan chernoff, thank you very much. there is also another twist in the controversy, some union construction workers are saying that they don't want to be part of the project. our national correspondent susan candiotti has been working this part of the story. you have spoken to some of the men and women, and what are they saying to you, susan? >> well, some of the union workers are saying they don't like it one bit and others say they don't have a problem with it. more on that in a moment. but first, let me set the scene for you. more than halfway down block, you see the site of the proposed center. that is dakota roadhouse, just
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in front of it is where the proposed center would go as well as the mosque. if you walk to the end of the block and look over my shoulder two blocks away down here down the corner, and be careful of traffic, and you see the cranes, that is ground zero, and again, two blocks from where we are standing. back here, we are going to show you again this site of islamic center and we tell you earlier in the day, it was pretty busy there, because there was a small group of demonstrators who were demonstrating in favor of this proposal, and in favor, they said, carrying signs, for a religious freedom. now, many people may not know this, but for a very long time, there has been no problem in this neighborhood while people have been worshipping inside of that site. and it was especially busy today as we said, because it is friday and it is the holy month of ramadan, however, a lot of construction workers that we spoke with do not like the idea of working at that site if a union job was offered. take a look.
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>> as far as i'm concerned, it is not american. to do that. that's right. that's right. that's right. wrong place. someplace else. i would not work on that job. >> reporter: why not? >> the obvious reason. ground zero. and what happened. plain and simple. >> reporter: did you know or maybe you are aware that they already use it as a mosque, did you know that? >> all i know is that you asked me a question and i won't work on it, period. >> we are just islamic center here and i totally disagree. >> reporter: why is that? >> because they don't like american people. that is why i disagree. >> reporter: they don't like american people? >> they don't like it. that is the feeling on the site, nobody will take a job over there. >> reporter: now continuing with the unscientific survey, we also talked to someone, a union worker who had no issue to work on the site. he said that jobs are kind of
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tight right now and if he was offered one, he'd take it. with all of the controversy would you consider taking a job if that place is built? >> i would take a job, because it is the freedom of everybody. i mean, it is a freedom and everybody has their own religion. >> all right. susan, we have heard from the union rank and file, but what about the union leadership, what are they officially saying about all of this? >> well, wolf, i tried to find out and made a number of phone calls to various union halls, including the sheet metal workers and the electrical union and the labor councils, but we got a no comment in fact, not one union leader would come to the phone the talk about it. one person who did not want to be identified said we are not going to make a public comment until we absolutely have to. wolf? >> and susan candiotti, great reporting from the streets of new york. thank you very much. are officials too quick to declare that the oil spill is getting cleaned up? i will ask the point man admiral
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kate bolduan is monitoring the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what else is going on, kate? >> hey, there, wolf. china's news agency is reporting that mud slides have killed more than 1,400 people in the
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country's northwest and more than 350 people are still missing. heavy rains triggered the mud slides which have buried houses and farmland and displaced thousands of people and the damage is estimated more than $1 billion. rite aid, and walgreens and other drugstores are offering flu shots. already. the early availabilityollows a new government recommendation that everyone age six months or older receive flu vaccinations. the latest vaccine protects against three flu strains the most common including the h 1n 1 virus, and move over paul the octopus, a psychic or hungry alligator is picking the winner of the prime minister election which is hotly contested. harry the crocodile who lives at a crocodile exhibition in darwin close to eat a piece of chicken attached to a picture of
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incumbent julia gill lard rather than the opponent. the voters will have a final say when the polls are closed in a few hours from now. he got into the prediction by picking the winners of world cup matches earlier this summer. wolf, i see that he weighs 1,500 pounds and nobody is going to contest his choice. >> harry the octopus, i mean, harry the alligator. >> the crocodile. >> the crocodile, but paul the octopus? >> yes, paul the octopus, and he was a little cuter. i don't know. exactly. >> well, i don't know. thank you very much. we will see how harry does. "the situation room" by the way is on facebook and you can go to and click on the light button to become a fan and you will get the shows updates and exclusive behind the scenes material, and do it if you like facebook. and how much oil looms in the gulf of mexico? it depends who you ask. why are the estimates all over
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new questions about the gulf oil disaster and how much crude is still in the water. the government reports that 75% of the oil has been cleaned up one way or another. but scientists from across the country are offering very different estimates. joining us now is the president's point man in the gulf of mexico, the national incident commander the retired commandant of the u.s. coast guard thad allen. commandant, thank you for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. >> we are so confused about how much oil is still there, and how much oil do you believe is still in the gulf of mexico? >> well, let me talk about the oil budget, because there is a lot of conversation about it. what we are attempting to do is to take the flow rate number
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that we could close in on which is 53,000 barrels a day and we added that up for the number of days it could have been spilling and we got 4.9 million barrels. >> 4.9 million barrels came out thaf rig? >> correct. we knew that some of it was produced about 827,000 barrels and we tried to figure out the fate of the oil and where it went and when we added everything, we knew to a virtual certainty it happened to like produced it and evaporation and you saw for x, there was 26% left and a starting point to have a discussion and we need to get as much information, and anybody who could add to the discussion should be adding to it, because it is important. >> 26% is one thing, but if the study from the university of georgia says that 75% is out there, that is a huge discrepan discrepancy. >> well, they are starting with a different amount of assumptions, including the number of oil produced and you change the denominator and that is still important and we need to talk about it and move forward. >> it says that 75% of the oil is gone and no concern for the
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environment is just absolutely incorrect said charles hop kinson, president of georgia sea grant and profes sosor of scien at university of georgia who co-authored this report, and you are saying there is a legitimate debate and we don't know the real answer? >> well, i'm saying if you make certain assumptions, you will get a set of numbers, and different set of assumptions, you will get a different response. while this is going on, we are focusing on the response and not impacting the way we are going after the oil at all. >> and right now you are standing by the noaa that all by 26% is accounted for. >> the noaa estimate is developed from the flow rate that i developed under marshall mcnutt, the geological survey and took that number and created entire amount and trying to figure out the component parts of it. it is a discussion that needs to continue and we need as much information as we can about the spill. >> now, another issue this plume developing under the waters of
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the gulf of mexico. i will leread to you the lead sentence from the "wall street journal." oil from the deepwater oil spill formed a plume the size of manhattan scientists said thursday raising lingering fears of a cloud of fears with long-term impact. is that right? >> that report was made in june and we were aware of it and that is the basis of sending the noaa ships out to look for the hydrocarbon in water the. this came out after it, and we are in a search for oil all over the gulf. last week i issued an order to agree gate not only noaa issues, but to find hydrocarbons. we won't know, because we have not had a spill this size in the country before, before we start to refine it whether it is ours or anybody ee's. >> so you have not seen plumes
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the size of manhattan out there in the gulf of mexico? >> well, we found trace amounts of hydrocarbons, but since there is a significant amount of oil and you can argue one way or another, and it is substantial and we need to look for hydrocarbons out there everywhere we can. >> talk about the two relief wells that are going to be built to kill this well once and for all and they were to be done by mid august and now approaching the end of august, and what is going on? >> well, a couple of delays due to weather. we had to remove the rigs from the scene for a while and right now we are at the relief well 3 1/2 feet away from the macondo well and 350 feet from the intercept point and held it there and doing a couple of things before we proceed. we are doing a pressure test and filled the blowout preventer with sea water so that the pressure is the same inside and outside and for 48 hours we will see if there is any pressure difference and if not, we will open up the bop and open up the drill pipe that is there and if we can do it safely, that should lead us to a point to proceed with the bottom kill the week after labor day. >> the week after labor day and
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approaching september. >> early september. >> early to mid-september, and that is when the well will be out, and when you say bop that the blowout preventer? >> i give the dates and caution everybody that they are based on conditions going to that. when you give a hard time line, you have to back away, because it is a credibility issue, and that is the target. >> and no more oil? >> since the 15th of july, no more hydrocarbons have been released. >> and the pressure is good and we don't have to worry about another explosion or anything like that until you complete the relief well? >> through the first 24 hours of ambient test, there are no problems with the cement. what we want to do is to make sure when we go outside of the well and the well pipe and the wellbore and put mud and cement into that, and if we don't force pressure up, it will be replaced
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with a new blowout preventer to withstand the pressure. >> is there any danger from now to the time you finish the relief wells from early to mid-september, is there any danger? >> very low, but when you say that we have 5,000 feet of the wem filled with cement from the top to well pipe, and on the top we have the blow out preventer from the original event with the capping stack on top of that and it can be left by itself but it is subject to hurricane and weather conditions, but while everybody is all right right now, we have to get the job done. >> what about going back to the same reservoir and drilling down once again down the road? because there is all sorts of mum muring that is a possibility? >> is that a possibility? >> well, i leave that with bp and policy issue down line. we are sfoe kfocusing on the re right now. i don't think that anybody at bp is thinking about anything other than that. >> you would leave to the department of interior? >> exactly. >> and what about deepwater
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drilling? >> well, that is a policy decision above my pay grade and we have learned about response systems an containment systemings and the lessons learned in the spill response should not be lost. we would be adding a crime to a crime if not learning from the event. >> well, good luck, thad allen and you have been working hard and it has been four months since that disaster and fortunately some serious light at the end of the tunnel. appreciate it very much. >> thank you, wolf. treasure dated back to the 15th century stolen in a brazen heist. we will give you the details. stick around, you in "the situation room." ll your household, purina tidy cats scoop helps neutralize odors in multiple cat homes. purina tidy cats scoop. keep your home smelling like home. why does it say box tops for education on your soup? oh, it's a program that raises money for schools. that's great, but this is a can. yes it is. you can't have a box top on a can. yes we can. but a can isn't a box. we know. i don't think you do. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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i'm from the gulf coast. i vacation here, my family spends a lot of time here. i have a personal, vested interest in ensuring that we get this job done right. i'm keith seilhan. i'm in charge of bp's cleanup on the gulf coast. bp has taken full responsibility for cleanup in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. you may have heard that oil is no longer flowing into the gulf. there's less oil coming ashore every day, but we still have thousands of people
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ready to clean it up if it does. when oil is spotted, we get right to work. we're working with the coast guard and many other government agencies. summer is the busiest time on the gulf, so every day, we're working with residents and local business owners to make sure beaches are clean and that they can stay open. and our efforts won't come at any cost to taxpayers. the work's not over. we're not going anywhere. it may not be perfect every time, but we're going to be here as long as it takes to make this right. keller graduate school of management, you'll have a professor with you every step of the way. whether you take classes on campus, online, or both, you get the same attention, the same curriculum, and the same quality. 85 locations nationwide and online. discover how to grow the business of you... at
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a rare treasure recovered from a shipwrecked spanish gal yon dating back to the 1600s has been stolen from a museum in florida. yes, stolen. john zarrella is joining us with details. what happened here, john? >> well, wolf, let me set the stage. it is a $550,000 gold bar and weighs 17 ounces. in 1472, the spanish galleria sinks off of the florida keys in a hurricane. for the next 350 years it is lost and all of the jewels and the artifacts are lost. 1980, famous treasure salver mel fisher and the team are looking for a wreck of a ship, and they suddenly stumble upon this wreckage and it is the santa margarita, and one of the valuables is this gold bar.
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so from 1990 until wednesday, the gold bar is sitting at the mel fisher museum. sh, let's ta surveillance video. a couple of men walk in, and you can see in the video that one begins to walk around the case where this gold bar is held. he seems to be playing with the case and walks away and comes back and suddenly, he sticks hi hand in the case, pulls out of the case the bar and sticks it in his pocket, and walks away. the other guy is apparently the lookout. so, now, wolf, take a look at some video of what exactly it looks like up close, and there is some pictures of the bar, itself, and you can see how you could put your hand inside of the case and turn the bar, but no way that you should be able to get that bar out of the case. somehow or another, and this is bulletproof plastic that this guy was able to break through to get this bar out. so, police, the fbi, are now looking for two men, and there
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are pictures of what these two guys look like, and brazen and they didn't wear masks and went right out there right in front of the cameras, and you can see them clearly, what they look like. one is 6'0" and the other 5'6" and the insurance company that represents the mel fisher maritime museum offering a $10,000 reward now for information leading to the arrest and the return in good shape of that gold bar. so, a half a million dollars for that gold bar, wolf, and it just walked out of the door. wolf? >> i suspect some of our own viewers knows who these two guys are. >> yes. >> and they are going to be running and the law enforcement will probably catch up fairly soon. >> absolutely. >> thanks very much, john, for that. a grim find sends, sets forensics experts to work. >> absolutely. that is csi and there is a murder mystery from 178 years ago and finally coming to the light of day.
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>> will these bones reveal a mass murder and rewrite pennsylvania history? plus an internet farmly allegedly filling internet prescriptions for years and our special investigations unit finds out what state official may have known for about for years. there's no way to hide it. sir, have you been drinking tonight? if you ride drunk, you will get caught... and you will get arrested. why does it say box tops for education on your soup? oh, it's a program that raises money for schools. that's great, but this is a can. yes it is. you can't have a box top on a can. yes we can. but a can isn't a box. we know. i don't think you do. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. [ children shouting ] we know. i don't think you do. come on, kiddo, let's go. [ laughs ] hold on a second... come on up here where your brothers sit. [ birds chirping ] wow! did i ever tell you what it was like growing up with four sisters?
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kate bolduan is monitoring the other top stories in "the situation room." what have you got, kate? >> well, wolf, today marks one year since the man convicted of bombing a pan am flight is released from a scottish jail, and they are marking the day by blasting the decision to release him. secretary of state hillary clinton is those voicing criticism today, and the
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scottish authorities say that alma gras hi was freed because he was diagnosed with cancer and freed. many americans died in the bombing. and serena williams is pulling out of the u.s. open due to foot injury. the number one woman ranked in the world cut her foot last month. she has won 13 grand slam singles titles including the u.s. open three times. check out this video. nothing but net from about 130 feet off of the ground. you will see it right here, and these teenagers are part of, look at it, look at it, there you go, part of an alabama group called the legendary shop that specializes in extreme basketball feats. what will they do next? they are opening to attempt a 350-foot shot from an exhibition of the u.s. space and rocket center in huntsville. i hear it took a mere 25 rides on that amusement park to make that shot.
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wolf, it will take you what, 20, 24? >> well, 25 years, maybe. very nice, impressive and good to be young and free time. >> good to be young, wolf, yes. >> thank you very much. human remains and forensic science together, and they may rewrite history and revealing what really happened to a group of irish immigrants in pennsylvania. our special investigations unit tries to get answers about and online pharmacy allegedly selling illegal prescriptions. >> excuse me, kyle. we'd like to talk to you about the internet drug business you are running out of this pharmacy. with their autobahn for all event. it ends soon. they got great prices. cars built for the autobahn. people are gonna be driving crazy in the jetta... ...the routan, and the cc. that cc is gorgeous. that jetta is awesome. my wife loves her new routan. and they all come with that carefree maintenance. scheduled maintenance included. we're not shopping for cars here, people. c'mon! well, i am now. that's kind of exciting. [ male announcer ] right now, get 0% apr on 2010 models, excluding tdi.
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>> and feds are cracking down on a pharmacy that is suspected of filling thousands of illegal prescriptions each month, and now the federal government is accused of turning a blind eye. drew griffin is on the investigation. drew? >> up until now, wolf, the internet pharmacy drug companies have been getting away with it selling any drug to anybody online with really no threat of being prosecuted. that may now be changing. >> reporter: he hardly looks the part of an illegal drug dealer. he drives a run-down mercedes-benz and can barely walk, but according to the fbi,
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80-year-old dr. robert morrow could be a major player in a nationwide illegal internet drug trade. hey, doctor, drew fgriffin with cnn -- a ring that spans from utah across the u.s. and overseas. a drug ring that has been operating for years. we want to find out, you know, it has been alleged that you have been signing internet prescriptions for people who have not signed -- >> i don't want to talk about it. goat off of the property. get off of my property. >> reporter: can you explain how that happens? according to a government investigator dr. morrow's signature appears on thousands and thousands of prescriptions filled this year alone. theleges he is paid to write them by two farm sis, the roots pharmacies in utah and suburban chicago and those are at the heart of the
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illegal overseas prescription. and according to pharmacist, he is at the top of the operation. on august 5th, fbi agents served two search warrants on those pharmacies owned by routesart and one here where the fbi seized boxes and boxes of records. the federal government says that illegal drug abuse is staggering. listen to this, it is a bigger problem than heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine use combined. and these rogue internet pharmacies that say that all you have to do is to fill out a form, you never have to see the doctor, and we will approve your order immediately and send you addictive medications are helping fuel that problem in a big way. no charges have been yet filed and the fbi is not commenting. the attorney for the root's pharmacy tells cnn that he has not had a chance to talk to his client about the search warrant affidavits and keeping them honest, we wanted to know why
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and how the operation had been allowed to operate for so long. two years ago, as part of a cnn investigation, i bought prozac and the addictive muscle relaxer soma online and no questions asked and tracked the drugs back to root's pharmacy in american fork, utah. i want to ask you about selling the drugs over the internet without prescriptions. we also confronted kyle routesart who ran from the cameras and took off in the brown pickup truck. excuse me, kyle! we'd like to talk to you ant the internet drug business you are running out of the pharmacy. but it appears that roots is on the run. >> this is where we confronted the owner of root's pharmacy, and you can see just yesterday we are told that the sign has been taken off of this door. the state of utah filed a petition more than a year ago to revoke the pharmacy's license, but a hearing still hasn't been
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held. even so, the pharmacy had been operating full blast, filling 200 to 300 prescriptions a day according to the fbi. this little second story pharmacy, a half hour south of the salt lake city was a major distributor of dangerous prescriptions, which brings us back to dr. morrow. he also has a history with the state of utah. he lost his license to dispense controlled drugs from 1999 to 2002, because he was illegally prescribing drugs. he paid a $1,000 fine. he was part of an operation experts tell cnn that was worth close to half a million dollars a month, and untold number of pills. what is so insidious about this, though, wolf, once you buy drugs online, you not only get the drugs, you get advertisements and even coupons from literally dozens and dozens of other internet pharmacies doing the
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exact same thing, so while this prosecution may be a start, it is really a drop in the bucket of what is out there. wolf. >> good reporting as usual from drew. thank you. researchers say they have discovered evidence of mass murder of immigrants 178 years ago. details of what may have happened and why it has taken so long to get to the truth. stay with us, you are in "the situation room." that's why every new toyota comes with the star safety system standard. it's is a combination of five accident avoidance technologies. the star safety system is something that's standard on 100 percent of toyota vehicles. we always think of safety, even in the concept design of our vehicles. [ male announcer ] the star safety system. standard. because we know, there's nothing more important to you than your safety. all our new safety features are at than your safety. and my dog bailey and i love to hang out in the kitchen. you love the aroma of beef tenderloin, don't you? you inspired a very special dog food.
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modern science may help
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rewrite pennsylvania history. researchers believe they have uncovered the mass murder of immigrants 100 years ago. mary snow is on the story. what is going on here? >> well, wolf, this started outs a family project and it has mushroomed out to a team of researchers to find out what killed hundreds of immigrants in the industrial revolution. tucked away in the philadelphia suburb, a place time has forgotten. >> you are looking at a stream that is pretty much what is it in the 1830s. >> reporter: brothers bill and frank watson leads us to the site where they are finding bones and skulls of irish railroad workers and these immigrant workers supposedly died of cholera at duffy's cut in 1832, but the watsons and their team are digging here convinced that something more sinister was at play. a mass murder. and they are unearthing evidence of past violence. >> so, it is like a csi case? >> absolutely, csi.
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this is a murder mystery of from 178 years ago and it is coming to the light of day. >> reporter: the intrigue harkens back to their childhood when these twin brothers would listen to their grandfather tell stories of duffy's cut and he worked for the pennsylvania railroad, but their smoking gun, a railroad file their grandfather left behind stating that information about the 1832 deaths be kept confidential and enough to prod the watsons, both historians to investigate, but they looked for years without finding anything. the site is close to train tracks, covering a broad area. >> we have a general guide to work with in the old pennsylvania railroad file on this event, but what we needed was the hard science. >> reporter: enter geophysicist tim bechtel, and he picked up what he believed was soil pockets of linked to decayed remains. >> it is useful for any time
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anybody would like to know what is underneath the ground without digging or drilling. it is not as good as superman's x-ray vision, but has the same uses. >> reporter: and it led to the watsons to what they are looking for now. >> this summer in 2010 we have made two more discoveries. >> reporter: so far bones of seven people have been recovered including four skulls. all now in the hands of janet mott, a physical anthropologist at the university of pennsylvania's museum. >> if you look at a lot of the mus s musket shots on skulls, they are not the ping that you can see from a modern firearm. >> reporter: she also says she has found idence of violence in skulls. >> if they had cholera, it did not kill them. >> reporter: and maybe they were killed out of fear that they would spread cholera. these ri


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